Should Arsenal now sell Maitland-Niles?

Do You Regret Not Selling Maitland Niles? By Dan Smith

Mikel Arteta has often been accused of giving too many chances to his players no matter their performance. So for our manager to leave Maitland-Niles out of his recent squad the very next match after he started was some statement.

The Spaniard also felt the need to stress the player’s demotion had nothing to do with any kind of injury which he could easily have said to protect the youngster.
Instead, this was the explanation, ‘it’s about him, his performances, and how much he wants to get back into the team.’

That quote comes from arguably Maitland-Niles’s biggest supporter, with reports suggesting Arteta stepped in during the summer to argue against selling Maitland-Niles to Wolves. The club’s stance was obvious, at a time when they are trying to save money, they had a chance to get 20 million without harming the first team.

After all under 3 managers the England international has been nothing more than a backup make-shift full back, who views midfield as his preferred role.

Months later, he’s still a backup make-shift full back who can get nowhere near one of Arsenal’s worst midfields in decades. Molineux was his best option if playing further forward remains his preference.

When Gareth Southgate handed him his first senior cap it was in defence, and it could be his versatility that sneaks him into the Euro 2020 (21) squad. So there is a chance that he has reconsidered, and would rather embrace a new role if it means staying where he’s been since a child.

I’m not saying he’s not talented and at 23 of course he can get better. Yet to return to our previous levels we have to be ruthless.

He’s played 121 times for the Gunners so that’s enough chances. If it wasn’t for the Pandemic, I wouldn’t be suggesting this, but I would be on the phone to the Midlands seeing if their offer remains.

We still don’t know when we are getting match day revenue. We are sacking staff, making salary cuts, paying players to leave, taking out a loan – all to save money. When you’re in that situation, 20 million for someone mostly on the bench is a lot of cash.

If he wasn’t from our academy would Gooners be so against selling him. Why do you think our marketing team often choose British players to advertise merchandise? They are the players a fan will relate to.

Put it this way. Hector Bellerin is only two years older but compare the scrutiny he gets to Niles. Yet if I said count on one hand how many great games both have had, it’s easier to name them for Bellerin.

Bellerin doesn’t take on his man like he used to, but we know a couple of serious long-term injuries is the cause of that. There’s no such excuse for Maitland-Niles.

I maintain my stance from August. How can we make 55 redundancies just to save 2 million, yet not consider offers for players who can’t even get in the first 11?

Would you sell Maitland Niles?

Be Kind In The Comments


Tags AMN


  1. Never in a month of Sundays would I sell AMN. He can play RB/LB (Ok not brilliant the other game) and CDM as well as being a box to box midfielder. I would rather sell Bellerin who always lets us down on the right side of defence than AMN.

    1. Totally agree, we have made so many mistakes of late, selling off our academy products, like Gnabry, Malen and Martinez to name but a few.

      Give Ainsley a chance in midfield for the cup match against Southampton.

      Find another whipping boy to play left back if you are going to rotate. If Arteta saw fit enough to let kolasinac leave to include AMN as a left back option then he shouldn’t dump him and berate him after 1 poor game.

      Soares has 6 years and much more experience on Ainsley why not play him that side and Ainsley on the right.

      1. So out of the 100’s if not 1000’s of academy players we have let go since the wenger era. You can only list about 3 good ones that have gone on to do better. That’s 3/100’s in about 20 years. What does that show?

        It’s called counting the hits and ignoring the misses fallacy. That’s 97 misses vs 3 hits and you want to put that as some sort of evidence? The sample size says we have been about 97% right and 3% wrong. In real life those odds say that we have a good track record on the matter.

        Isn’t it?

    2. If one had you say you’d sell Bellerin because he always let’s us down, he’d imagine he never plays well.
      The only time people like you are ever willing to give players not in your corner credit is when they put in MOTM performances. Truth is, players rarely get those.

    3. I think its unfair on maitland-niles ,arteta stopped him from going to wolves but now he seems to be out of favour, when he does play apart from his last performance he didn’t let us down, he just gets shunted left back, right back, midfield anywhere there is a gap,for his own development he needs to leave to get a settled position and progress

      1. Maitland Niles is a star and versatile. We have deadwood like Hector.
        I disagree to selling Maitland niles

    4. Ainsley Maitland Niles must leave now, not because he is a very poor football player earning over one hundred thousand pounds per week who constantly has awful games causing the team to lose matches they otherwise would have won, but because he is a talented gifted player who is being wasted by the club. It must be clear by now that Arsenal are never going to recognize his ability and are simply wasting his time. The boy has never let the club down and has turned in a number of MoTM performances in his short career to date.
      It is an obvious disrespect to his ability that the manager continues to play Xhaka who phucks up over and over again without giving him the chance to prove himself in his favored position. If he did get the chance to play in midfield Xhaka wouldn’t get another game. I’ve watched him play in the middle and he controls the game from there.

      1. @Akan.. Thank you very much!! The only reason for Maintland-Miles debacle in Arsenal is Xhaka..
        He is being misused as RB, LB because Mikel Arteta, the coaching staff n perhaps the board knows he will sit Granit Xhaka on the bench once he is played as a midfielder.
        Maitland Miles is strong, energetic n can spray forward passes quickly!! He is like a Wilnajdum or Micheal Essien player!! Arteta knows this but wants to shunt his growth..
        This is where I don’t like him..A coach having sentiments..Much like Wenger. They don’t win much..😒😏

  2. Keep AMN. He is a good player but lacking the coach’s support. He is losing confidence as a result. That he is in the England team says a lot about his ability. The problem is Arteta.

    1. Alex Maj Sir anyone can be in the England team as long as Southgate is the coach, this is a coach who keep selecting Mounts ahead of grealish, a coach who have good goalkeepers in the league and still pick Pickford as his first choice, so the fact that a Niles is a back up player for the national team doesn’t really means he’s good.

    2. This type of player needs a Wenger-type coach. I don’t think Arteta is that type of a coach and I’m not saying it’s either a good or a bad thing. With that in mind, if he doesn’t pick up form by the end of the season, he should be sold.

  3. Rather sell Bellerin and deploy the finances elsewhere. Cedric is good enough. Given AMN versatility at LB, RB and middle of the park a good coach will know what to do.

  4. Big fan of AMM and on his day he can cut it with the rest of the squad. Problem is that his day doesn’t come often enough.

    He gave away possession way too often when filling in for Tierney recently.

    I fear that if we sell him at this point of the campaign without replacing him with another academy promotion or buying cheap then we may miss his versatility.

    £20-25m is a lot to pass up though for a player who may become disgruntled by sitting on the sidelines/playing out of position.

    I’d personally sell and bring through a prospect

    1. Left back is not his position,, so the manager plays him out of position, he has a bad game and it’s his fault?
      How many bad games has Xhaka had playing in his right position ? In the game against crystal palace Ainsley Maitland Niles had 12 misplaced passes, Xhaka had 19! Yet no one has called for him to get dropped let alone sold. There is clear favoritism going on with team selection and treatment of certain players within the club which is not good for the team. Players and fans can see what is happening. It will hurt the club in the long run.

  5. he is the best right back except that the coach ‘s younger brother is put in front of him.
    is it not stupid logic for the reason for a football team selling is only and always economic.
    but then thats why we are in the bottom half isn’t it?

    1. crispen best Rb🙆🙆🙆 you can keep hyping Niles as much as you want but Niles is nowhere close to bellerin in terms of natural ability, even Cedric is better. There must be a reason why 4 different coaches can’t really find a position for him.

      1. Natural ability is a loose term – I think AMN has much better close control and athleticism and isn’t particularly worse in any technical area than Bellerin. Maybe Bellerin has a better understanding of the game? Maybe that’s because he’s more experienced though (helps that he’s played the same position for those years as well)?

      1. Bellerin has been good recently whereas Cedric has been decent when given the chance and had a great game recently. The issue is Bellerin has been playing in the more difficult games so it’s not really a fair comparison

    2. I disagree. Every player loses form. He Has played well. Check matches he closed out Sterling and Willian while at Chelsea to mention just a few..

      We could sell Pepe and cancel Willian contract. Willian is a spendforce.
      The other player who does not what it takes and very reactive is Nketiah, he lacks creativity, hussles and bustles opponents instead of winning possession. Thats what Lacazette does and hence his non performance since his arrival.

  6. AMN is good as a wing back on either side left or right, I don’t rate him as a full back at all, he really struggles. I also don’t think MA rates him there or in midfield either, so I would keep him although I feel we will sell in the summer due to the fact there isn’t really a place for him in the team anymore, we don’t play the right system for AMN to get enough games in the future.

    1. I think you may be on to something. He’s had some amazing performances but almost all have come from LWB. Had one really good game at RB against Utd a whole ago but even then, it was the tactic of moving into a central, almost DM position that really worked if I remember correctly. He’s never looked as comfortable at fullback but I think he needs to have a position nailed that he can focus on. I think he needs that for confidence – even if he ends up a utility player, it would make him a better one

  7. Maitland-Niles should take a bold decision to leave Arsenal, because Arteta is gonna destroy his career. Maitland-Niles, Gouendouzi, Seliba, Martinelli, and Nelson should just leave because Arteta doesn’t like them. There are players who are worse than them, but Arteta will always select those under performing players over them

    1. Armoury,, you are spot on my friend. The team is being selected for manager and agents favorite players’ and who they can get a back handed profit from, not for purely football reasons, it’s been going on for a while, which is why we are in the current situation in the league

    2. I think you’re clearly wrong on Martinelli, he loves him too much and keeps wanting to rush him back. Can’t disagree (didn’t mean I necessarily agree) so much on the others

  8. AMN should be given a fair crack of the whip in his best position. If he then fails to shine, then I would have no qualms about selling him. In my opinion we should try to offload the likes of Willock and Nketiah first.

    1. I agree with you about Nketiah, but Joe Willock is a taking good player that is being given the same treatment as Maitland Niles,, they must leave because the management and agents prefer spanish and south american football players

  9. Bellerin has had way more opportunities consistently than AMN and I bet you really couldnt name many games where Bellerin has been great. Bellerin has always played in his correct position, whereas AMN has been consistently played out of position. Its hard enough that a midfielder is consistently played in defence, but to then be played on the left side when hes right footed has further handicapped him. Is it any surprise that hes struggled being left out most games, then when he does play hes covering positions that aren’t natural to him? The funny thing is that when he has played in midfield he has excelled

    1. No he hasn’t excelled in every game he’s played in midfield. Likely his last few appearances in midfield were so underwhelming that you can’t remember them.

      I say this as a big AMN fan. But if he wants regular time he needs to bring it every game. And simple fact is that his performances are getting worse not better.

      Let’s see if this kick up the backside works. I hope it does.

    2. If he never plays in midfield how can that be his position
      For 120 odd games how many in midfield?
      So at this point I think it’s fair to say hes viewed as a full back

  10. If Arteta keeps his position at the end of this season, then Maitland-Niles should move. And vice versa. Arteta hates him, so there’s no need for him to work under that kind of manager

  11. The time to consider selling players,including AMN, is at the end of the season by which time, hopefully the impact of the Pandemic may be on the wane and the return of fans may be a starting point for more confidence as far as Clubs finances are concerned.While I am a fan of AMN , he will never be effective on the left side of the pitch and he has not shown enough when deputising for Bellerin to become a first team regular.Like many i regret the fact that he has never been given a run of games in central and/or right midfield, but, rightly or wrongly he has failed to convince three different Managers which suggests he is never going to make it at Arsenal.I suspect he will go in the Summer transfer market.

    1. Slightly disagree that his best matches so far have been from the left, but mostly from left wing back, and mostly in the way he’s dealt with tricky opposition, but I’m getting to the same point where I’m resigned to him leaving. Shame because I think there’s a player in there

        1. As you say often enough Dan; “a matter of opinion.” In my view AMN is defensively better than Bellerin. Also the best game at RB this season was from Cedric Soares against Newcastle United, again in my opinion.

  12. Do not sell one of our best players again, a man who most of the time is played out of position and still does well, and is brilliant in the right position

      1. Dan Smith,, Maitland Niles has played brilliantly in most of his starts for Arsenal, from his first full FA cup game against southampton when he and Jeff Raine Adelaide controled the middle of the park leading the team to a 5 – 0 win he only about 18 at the time. He had several outstanding games that season at the time Ozil stated that he was the future of the club. His short career to date is littered with man of the match performances two of which came in the FA cup and charity shield wins last season. He has been brilliant in the europa league this season where Arsenal won every game when the first team were struggling to buy a win. I could on but
        Maitland Niles has not let Arsenal down and should be given the chance to stake his claim for Xhaka’s midfeld position. Artetta and Edu will instead waste the clubs money on a Real Madrid reject or a Brazilian has been.

        1. Could you go on ?
          Think you should , as Dundalk and Molde are hardly a standard to show if you belong at this level
          Can you name me 5 games where he was brilliant in the League this season ( bearing in mind he was dropped from the whole squad)
          and just checked …..he was not man of the match in either cup game
          Can you then show me his brilliant stats , lets say as a full back can you dig me up his stats for assists and see how brilliant they are

          1. okay in 64 Leauge games has 2 assists
            is that brilliant ?
            Cedric has one and hes played 7 Leauge games for us lol
            By the same age Bellerin had 11

          2. Interesting you include the caveat of ‘this season’ – has he even played 5 league games? Agree he hasn’t been amazing every time he’s played but it’s a bit disingenuous to frame the question that way.

          3. Dan Smith – mostly coming on for 5 minutes at the end though? Maybe I’m wrong then, just don’t recall seeing all that much of him.

  13. AMN deserves to play and to play regularly. If Arteta can’t use him he should offer him a loan deal, not just keep him in case he culd need him one day…

  14. I’d prefer Arsenal sell Soares instead, because Soares is much older, slower, shorter and not a homegrown. Maitland-Niles was pretty great when playing as RB/ DM and he’s never lost the duels against the likes of Zaha/ Traore

  15. Sell, I have never understood the hype.
    What exactly does AMN do? What is his specialty?
    What aspect of his ability stands out?

    1. At last a sensible, accurate comment Goonster.

      Cut out all the sentiment, and judge on actual performances.

      All “smoke & mirrors” and “product of Hale End” surrounding this player.

      Half the AMN cult who comment ,probably don’t even know he was sent to Ipswich on loan back in 2015 to prepare him for greater things at our place.

      You do the maths – NEARLY SIX YEARS AGO !

      What has happened since (3 managers since) – not a lot.

      And if he was the answer in central mid’ WE WOULD BE PLAYING HIM THERE – IT REALLY IS AS SIMPLE AS THAT !

      Over Partey, ESR, Xhaka, Ceballos and even a somewhat reliable Elneny (does what it says on the tin, although also gone in the summer) – behave yourselves !

      Also we have Matty G & Lucas out on loan with the possibility of Odegaard coming in.

      Outside of the cosseted Arsenal bubble, I believe Ainsley is going to get “found out” and that includes this mythical centre mid role claim.

  16. Its clear that Arteta doesn’t rate him.He only uses him as an occasional back-up when all other options have been exhausted.
    There is no doubt that AMN is not the finished article but with the right coaching he certainly could be.His natural athleticism,speed and strength means that he has far more to offer than Bellerin and Cedric…and should be considered as Partey’s natural partner in the double pivot…certainly ahead of Mo Elneny…My opinion,however,counts for nothing…as I would have sold Bellerin at the beginning of the Season when offers were apparently made.
    Last week the commentators were castigating a rusty AMN playing on his wrong side against Palace and comparing his game to that of Tierney.At the same time little was said about how many times Bellerin lost the ball during almost every Arsenal attack…and how often Bellerin’s lack of defensive ability allowed Palace to attack us.Prior to his injuries Bellerins only saving grace was his speed…and.thats now all but gone.
    However if Arteta isn’t going to utilise AMN to the best of his ability then he should be sold.A real shame as he seems to have a lot more to potentially offer the Club than the likes of Neketiah,Willock and Nelson..who should be way ahead of him in the queue to offload.

    1. Arteta played him in the FA Cup semis and finals. If he shows up and applies himself, Arteta rates him.

      All this talk about Arteta hating him (not you Joel) is childish.

  17. I duuno if it’s the roles he’s been ask to play, but he seems to be extremely laid back when I see him play. He doesn’t seem 100% concentrated for 90 mins. Maybe he’s overconfident in his abilities. if he’s not showing 100% commitment in training, then you can understand Arteta’s decision.

  18. Hard to judge without context or proper criteria. He doesn’t have a settled position, which is good for the club with injuries, but bad for the player making it harder to develop.

    Given a proper run in the team in one position, I believe he will outplay certain players. For example, he would outplay Elneny in the DM role, rather AMN than Kola, and I would even say that in a fair competition he would challenge Bellerin. He’s better defensively, probably equal in speed now, and crossing ability is basically the same.

    I’d personally like to see how he would do as a B2B midfielder, and paired with Partey would make for a very quick and productive midfield.

    1. Cedric Soares has more experience, playing LB than AMN, yet when played in his preserved RB position has shown better form than Bellerin.
      In comparison to Bellerin, Cedric was the first choice RB for Portugal, when they won the Euros and has far more international caps than Bellerin has for Spain.
      If Tierney is injured, Arsenal would be stronger playing Cedric LB and AMN RB, as he has played better defensively, will little loss of attack than Bellerin.
      In my view (at the moment) Arsenal’s form pairing is Tierney LB and Cedric RB.

      1. Form paring Cedric ,lol
        I know you have a thing for not liking Bellerin Ozzie but to say after one game Cedric as played in the league he’s the form RB is ridiculous ,thought we had 4 cleans sheets leading upto cedrics one appearance this season ,so going by form I would say Bellerin .

        1. As I said Dan, “in my opinion”. Also you can’t dispute that Cedric Soares has been first choice RB for his country, whereas Hector Bellerin has not.

          1. But we are talking about Arsenal not international football , Cedric as played one good game . Bellerin as been outstanding for the last 6 weeks so form wise I don’t get your post .

  19. Speaking as possibly the eonly fan onher who has complete faith in MA, I am extremely happy for him to make whatever decision he pleases about AMN, as I know it will be the right one for our club. I could but won’t listen to somefans on here who constantly question almost everything our manager does.

    But then , when I reflect that they are not in professional football, have their own biases and are not knowledgable about players, in the way a manager is, I am bound to stay with my firm opinion that MA knows better than any of us . Of course, nothing to stop people having their say. And THAT IS MINE!

  20. I’d like to keep him, but Arteta hasn’t given him any meaningful game time this season. Then he gets a rare start and doesnt set the world alight and people wonder why. It’s clear Mikel doesnt see him as more than a squad player, even with injuries. I think we’ll see him leaving soon unfortunately.

  21. I say get rid of Xhaka who’s relative success, compared with the length of time he’s been at the club, is an abject failure and is dependant on who partners him in midfield, when in reality he should be , by now, an accomplished leader in his position. I say get rid of Elneny who is a hard worker but simply not at the required level for what is needed at present and I say give Amn and Callum Chambers the opportunity along with Ceballos, to partner Partey in the midfield, both are very good one on one defenders, much more mobile and forward thinking, decent dribblers when needs to be and will actually make aerial challenges instead of just token gestures in that regard.

  22. My only beef with the way Arteta handles AMN is that he hasn’t, until recently, handled all underperforming players the same way – specifically Willian, Pepe and PEA. If you don’t put the effort in you shouldn’t play – minimum expectation should be maximum effort.

  23. I’ll say again….AMN with Partey would be a killer combination infront of the defence.

    Both can attack and defend, both are great athletes!

    1. Thanks, Mate!! Feels same too!! AMN and Thomas Partey in the Arsenal’s midfield will be the Bomb!! They are both hard-working, strong and give forward passes..
      Much like Ndidi-Tielemanns@Leciester ,or Essien-Claude Makelele at Chelsea during Mou’s first stint!!
      I watched AMN n Elneny combo against Leciester dis season@the Carabao cup. We won 2 0 in the KingPower stadium!!
      But Arteta n his crew prefers Ceballos n Xhaka who re slow, lazy, hesitant n undisciplined!! Sad one..😒😔

  24. Not now. It will be a big mistake selling him now. He is young, very quick, versatile,
    Very good in defending and attacking, just need more polishing.

  25. Yes why not, sell him. And also sell Saka, Smith Rowe, Nelson and Balogun, Then we can buy other make-beliefs from other clubs.

    What’s the problem with this club?
    Just give him consistent game time with his mates who are now performing.

  26. Judging by response of majority you are in favour of Maitland Niles but you are missing the beauty. He is not top in any position. Yes he can fit elsewhere which is why coach wants him to come in when emergency calls. For this he gets £20m a year which he might not get at Wolves to do the same things he does at Arsenal. He is London born and bred so Wolvehampton is not his cup of tea and would regret after 2 days there. He knows what he’s doing and happy living and do a hobby for 20m/year.

    1. Goonerbeall, Wrong so called facts and by amile Do you know what your incorrect £20 mill wages a year equals weekly? I do and it is close to £400,000 per week That is nonsense! If you are not prepared o get the correct facts then our argument falls at the first fence!

        1. Only by around £17 million per annum ! Or 85% WRONG, in percentage terms. When a fan has not the maths level of even a nine year old, it is hard to debate meaningfully. Sigh!

  27. Thanks, Mate!! Feels same too!! AMN and Thomas Partey in the Arsenal’s midfield will be the Bomb!! They are both hard-working, strong and give forward passes..
    Much like Ndidi-Tielemanns@Leciester ,or Essien-Claude Makelele at Chelsea during Mou’s first stint!!
    I watched AMN n Elneny combo against Leciester dis season@the Carabao cup. We won 2 0 in the KingPower stadium!!
    But Arteta n his crew prefers Ceballos n Xhaka who re slow, lazy, hesitant n undisciplined!! Sad one..😒😔

  28. I honestly don’t understand this hype of amn at all.this boy has been at arsenal for years played under many coaches and cnt nailed down a position that’s on him.u guys are talking of niles who is technically so poor than a 30 year old Cedric always pondering on the ball.and pls guys the argument that a coach hates a player is lazy.i.e John stones and pep,ndombele and mourinho.its on you as a player to train hard to win a coach trust.thats the way it coach would bench a player that can get him a result.its a result based submission is niles has never been good enough and should be sold.hes only at the good due to home grown slot. this is arsenal not Crawley town with due respect.enough of celebrating mediocrity.we need top playeres not average footballer with no tangible achievement to fall back arteta I trust ,say no to dead woods.we ve suffer enough.u get ur chance u grab it with both hands like smith Rowe.u don’t u go back to where u belong.arsenal is a football club not a poultry farm.enough is Enough of nursing is business.we nursed Gibbs , Walcott,wilshere,Ramsey,ox,.what did we gain from that nothing.

    1. deji, You made a lot of true points about how coaches do not hate players and care only about the clubs success. So many fans have childish conspiracy theories that so and so a coach hates such and such a player. All nonsense of course and thanks for speaking out so well and telling the truth.

      Like you, I also trust Arteta and will be content with whatever decision he makes with AMN. HE HAS LEFT HIM OUT, SO I ACCEPT THAT IS CORRECT!

  29. As already mentioned, it is his versatility that has given the much needed reason for him to stay in the squad. Ainsley is a readymade product for English league, both physically and that blistering pace. He has already show the glimpses of that all in previous by-gone matches. The problem that i see related to his dip in form has to be down to the same versatility. Since he has not been able to play or concentrate in a particular area of pitch, it might be becoming increasingly difficult for him to understand what his role is exactly. He has played in a lot of positions, specifically in all three positions. But it is only when someone better is out injured or is not performing that well. So, he is not the first choice in any position anyway. But given his ability and his thirst for to play in midfield , also given his stature, i see him as a perfect partner for Partey. Both can boss the midfield together and can compliment each other really well.

  30. I like AMN. He is very talented and can play multiple positions. Also I think he is the best PK taker of our club. That said, unless MA has a project which involves AMN as a midfielder, his best positions would be the WB to pseudo DM roles that he occupied and excelled in MA’s back three system. I dont think he would play well in a flat back 4, and dont really know his suitability as a midfielder in our current system. I trust MA to make the right decisions because by now, he must have had enough knowledge about the squad to make informed decisions to the benefit of the team.

  31. Don’t sell Maitland Niles. He is a very talented player, who can play more positions. I think we care more about our academy product players. These young players have turned it around for us.

  32. True. Why make 55 redundancies just to save 2 million, yet not consider offers for players who can’t even get in the first 11? Sell him & get the 20 million and bring back those 55

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